It is official: Norfolk Southern, the rail carrier responsible for the massive derailment and “controlled explosion” fiasco in East Palestine, Ohio, will have to pay up for all the cleanup associated with remediation of the disaster.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has ordered the rail carrier to “pay for cleaning up the mess they created and for the trauma they’ve inflicted on this community.”
The derailment occurred on February 3, leaving behind overturned rail cars full of noxious poisons like vinyl chloride and other hazardous substances. When the government intentionally blew up these rail cars, all those poisons were blasted into the air.
Norfolk Southern apologized for the incident and expected that to be enough. Local residents are not satisfied as many of them have since filed lawsuits against the company for criminal negligence.
EPA head Michael Regan, speaking at a news conference in East Palestine, indicated that Norfolk Southern will need to find and clean all contaminated soil and water throughout the region. The company will also have to pay back the EPA for its own cleaning efforts.
Should Norfolk Southern refuse to comply with the EPA’s orders, the federal agency plans to “immediately” carry out all work itself and charge the company triple the cost, as well as fine it up to an additional $70,000 per day for as long as it takes to achieve justice.
(Related: Norfolk Southern is also trying to buy off the residents of East Palestine for $1,000 a pop.)
Ohio, Pennsylvania file criminal charges against Norfolk Southern over derailment, explosion
All throughout the area, residents exposed to fumes from the toxic plume are reporting headaches, burning skin, nausea, and other health problems. Many worry that they will soon develop worse health conditions such as cancer.
Many people are concerned about toxic water as well, though local water utilities are insistent that everything is fine. The Ohio Health Department opened up a special health clinic for concerned residents to voice their thoughts.
Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro also wants in on the action, having stated at a joint news conference that he and other authorities in both Pennsylvania and Ohio are planning to refer criminal charges against the rail firm to his state’s top prosecutor, who now has to decide whether or not to file charges.
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine also joined the news conference, where he indicated that Norfolk Southern “needs to be made to pay” for any and all medical costs stemming from exposure to the disaster.
Just hours before the announcement, DeWine and Regan drank water together for the masses to see, an action that was supposed to show them that it is safe to consume.
“I can only feel so much better; the damage has already been done, in my opinion,” stated local resident Logan Rance about the EPA’s announcement.
Norfolk Southern, which last week refused to appear at a town hall meeting, issued a statement in response to the EPA decision stating that it is “committed to thoroughly and safely cleaning the site,” as well as “reimbursing residents for the disruption this has caused in their lives.”
Some 15,000 pounds of contaminated soil and 1.5 million gallons of contaminated water has already been removed from East Palestine, according to the company.
Fake president Brandon also chimed in with a series of tweets indicating that his regime was “on the ground hours after the train derailed.” Instead of visiting East Palestine, however, Brandon joined Volodymyr Zelensky in Ukraine to show his opposition to Russia and President Vladimir Putin.
Want to keep up with the latest news about the East Palestine train derailment? You can do so at Disaster.news.
Sources for this article include: